Monday night at a National Hockey League game between the Dallas Stars and the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, a scary scene unfolded as the Stars’ center, Rich Peverley, collapsed on the Dallas bench. Peverley collapsed due to a reported heart problem; he had surgery prior to this season for an irregular heart beat ESPN Dallas reported. The game was postponed as neither team felt like finishing it, at the time of Peverley’s collapse the Stars trailed the Blue Jackets 1-0 early in the first period. Peverley was conscious as he was taken off the bench and rushed to a local hospital; Dr. Gil Salazar stated that they treated Peverley for a “cardiac event” using chest compressions and a defibrillator to bring rhythm back to his heart was successful (ESPN Dallas).
The scene in Dallas is a perfect example of risk communication at its finest. The Dallas Stars play in an arena (American Airlines Arena) where a defibrillator is mandatory. Having quick access to the defibrillator as well as a swift action by the team and staff saved precious seconds that are critical in these situations. Understanding risk communication and how to create a crisis plan is crucial in these life-threatening situations. The sports industry is always looking for educated and experienced individuals who understand risk and crisis communication principles.
Ashland University’s programs in health and risk communication as well as sport communication look at events such as this to educate their students. Anyone who is interested in the Sport or Health career fields can find their calling at Ashland University, gain valuable real world experience and learn from events such as this in Dallas and apply them in a positive learning environment.